At some point, the convention of marriage was just a way for guys to convince ladies to have sex with them and not feel terrible about it. Life was a tedious slog way back then. You needed all the kids your wife could bear to keep the farm on its feet, you died at 45, and playing the field was a total WOT*. But that was back in the 1970s. Nowadays, we enter into marriage for a whole raft of reasons: green cards, beards, legally-binding back-up plans made in college, boozy weekends in Reno ... and silly things like true love.
But now, the NYTimes is reporting that you can marry a pair of Brooklyn baristas just for their companionship and perfectly-poured lattes. The bean-grinders, Michael Newton and Johanna Hickey, only need a cool $25K to wife or husband up any of their customers. The java-slingers have a caveat, however (and I'm paraphrasing): "None of that, you know, sex stuff." Am I Wrong To Like Sex With Married Men? [VIDEO]
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The Fort Greene** baristas (how is there not a masculine and feminine version of that word?) believe that they are already like a husband and wife to the community and are willing to up the ante by, per Ms. Hickey, "offering our social strengths as a life companion," such as listening to their new spouse's problems with an understanding ear. "We're not doing this for the wrong reasons, it's not prostitution," Ms. Hickey was quick to clear up. In a town like New York City, that's an important matter to clear up.
I feel like these coffee-keepers may be overestimating their value in society. Perhaps as a non-coffee drinker, I'm unfamiliar with the intimate relationship between a person and his/her caffeine pusher. I know that in the feature film What Women Want, the Mel Gibson character and the Marisa Tomei character saw each other at a Starbucks equivalent daily and wanted to screw. And, as a guy, I'm familiar with the feeling of seeing an attractive retail worker regularly and wondering, at length, what her underpants may look like (on my floor). Even as a bit of flirt (I've been called the Mayor of 22nd Street in some very narrow circles), I don't know how a platonic marriage to any non-Scientologist would benefit me if I'm the one paying to be in it.
On the other hand, they are offering 15 percent off a cake at their shop for their would-be spouses.
Would you get a platonic marriage? What if it had very tangible social benefits? Did you know cake is sometimes a euphemism for female body parts?
*Note: WOT stands for Waste O' Time.
**Note: You may not be cool enough to have heard of it, sorry.
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Image courtesy of The Local: Fort Green/Clinton Hill flickr.